A former Ukrainian MP who collaborated with Russian occupying forces has been shot dead in his home, marking the fifth apparent assassination by partisans in the region.
Alexei Kovalev’s body was reportedly found by his mother at his home in the town of Hola Prystan, near Kherson city, just a few hours before Ukrainian forces reportedly began their offensive to retake the region.
He had been shot in the head with a pump-action shotgun and his wife had been stabbed to death, according to reports.
Kovalev had been an MP for the Servant of the People party, headed by Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president. However, he switched sides in April to support the Kremlin’s invasion.
He was appointed deputy head of agriculture – a key position given the importance of grain – in the Kherson region.
Andrei Tsaplienko, a Ukrainian journalist who runs a Telegram channel with 215,000 subscribers, said that partisans had previously declared Kovalev a target.
“The traitor, collaborator and former People’s Deputy Alexei Kovalev was shot dead in his own house,” he said. “The occupiers have begun intensive searches and document checks. Be careful, Ukrainians.”